Wednesday, November 02, 2016

After The War


After The War was released back in 1989 by Dinamic Software and is (partly) a fantastic beat 'em up similar in style to Double Dragon 3. You are Jonathan Rogers, aka Jungle Rogers, and must assassinate Professor McJerin who is today's nutcase. Worryingly set in the near future during a post-apocalyptic Manhattan where you must kill all the bad dudes and escape to somewhere far nicer than this hellhole! Sounds easy, right? Let's see...

This game is split into two parts: the first is a scrolling beat 'em up and the second a shoot 'em up platformer. Upon playing part one, the first thing that struck me was the graphics which look amazing with huge sprites, great use of colour, and good scrolling. I adore the backgrounds and found the artwork and design to be apt for the grungy scenario. Sound effects are very cool and made up of low-quality grunts and thumps with silly cries when somebody is killed. It is worth mentioning the awesome title theme which I think is superb and I do wonder if the enhanced hardware within the STe was used? However, this only highlights the lacking in-game background tune... Controls are very easy to master and offer: a punch, a flying-kick, jumping, and a get-me-outta-here rollback. Strangely, the keyboard is needed to activate another type of kick and a nut-crushing low punch, especially useful for the rapid dogs! Sadly, I found flipping between the two sets of controls an awkward killjoy. (image above)

Part two is only playable once the first is complete and our musclebound hero now equipped with a giant weapon as he heads off into the underground. Gamestyle is now a platform shooter where we need to blast everything, even those pesky rats! The controls are a little weird, we must manually guide the directional aiming which is overly complicated. It's quite good fun but I found myself stressing over the control system too much rather than winning!

After The War is two games in one, which may sound great but it's not. The beat 'em stage is a little sluggish but it's incredibly good fun and also looks and sounds impressive. I really enjoyed playing this which is more than can be said for the scrolling platformer. Why did they bother? Play for the beat 'em up and a good time is guaranteed!!

LINKS

 - Update September 2017: 8BitChip have a brand new hard drive installable download!
 - Old Games Finder has all the floppy disk versions you could ever desire!
 - What a fantastic loading screen - this is killer 16-Bit pixel art!!
 - Who fancies a couple of cheats?
          -> Fancy the code to part two : 101069 (tested and works)
          -> Infinite energy in part one, press keys : ALT, 1, B (untested)
          -> Infinite energy in part two, press keys : ALT, 1, M (untested)